Iconic British cycling brand sold to major European bike company

British bike brand Raleigh has announced that it has reached agreement on the sale of the business to Accell Group of the Netherlands.

The sale, which has been rumoured for several weeks, is expected to be completed by the end of May, subject to approval from the German competition authorities.

Accell Group – home to such brands as Lapierre, Ghost and Koga – values Raleigh at €76 million (approximately £62 million). The acquisition price is approximately €60 million (about £49 million).

Raleigh, which is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year, operates in the UK, USA and Canada, along with worldwide licensing activities and a sourcing arm in Asia. As well as Raleigh, its best-known brands are Diamondback and Avenir. Raleigh sold about 850,000 bikes last year, and has around 430 empolyees.

Raleigh’s management team intends to stay on after the acquisition, CEO Alan Finden-Crofts remaining for at least another six months.

“This is great news for everyone involved with Raleigh in the UK – be they employees, retail partners or suppliers,” said Mark Gouldthorp, managing director of Raleigh UK. “Raleigh UK expects to see accelerated sales growth both in the UK and in export markets within 2012.”

René Takens, CEO of Accell Group, said, “Acquiring Raleigh adds a strong traditional and global brand with a rich heritage to our brand portfolio, and with the Diamondback brand we strengthen our position in the mountain bike and BMX segment. We also strengthen our position in bicycle parts & accessories in North America and the United Kingdom.”

This isn’t the first Netherlands connection that Raleigh has had in its long history. The company sponsored Dutch pro racing team TI-Raleigh, for example, between 1974 and 1983. The team was home to Joop Zoetemelk when he won the Tour de France in 1980.

Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over 20+ years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for eight years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.